ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan plan to inject young blood for BD series


Pakistan will try blooding more youngsters in the national side in next month’s one-day series against Bangladesh but will not be taking anything for granted against the visitors, generally regarded among the minnows of Test cricket.

Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told ‘The News’ on Saturday that he and fellow selectors want to try out more rookies in the home series that will include five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International but in the meantime they also want to field a solid team against Bangladesh in a bid to avoid any surprises.

“We cannot take Bangladesh lightly because they can be a dangerous team on their day,” said Salahuddin, a former Test cricketer. “For us the most important task would be to win the series and win comfortably,” he added.

Pakistani cricket officials have lined up the series against Bangladesh to keep their international home season alive after Australia decided to ‘postpone’ their tour scheduled for March-April because of security concerns.

Pakistan tried to fix matches against leading teams like India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England but finally managed to convince Bangladesh to fill in for Australia.

Presently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is making renewed efforts to confirm a One-day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka next month after the assignment against Bangladesh.

The series against Bangladesh will follow a similar low-profile for the home team against underdogs Zimbabwe in January-February this year. Pakistan thrashed Zimbabwe 5-0 in the ODI series.

Pakistan are looking forward to achieving similar results against Bangladesh, who were recently thrashed 0-3 at home in an ODI series by South Africa.

But Salahuddin said that Bangladesh are a stronger team than Zimbabwe.

“Bangladesh proved they are a good one-day side by reaching the last-eight in the (2007) World Cup,” he pointed out referring to the spectacle in the Caribbean where top Asian powers Pakistan and India were bundled out in the first round while Bangladesh made the cut for the Super Eights.

The Pakistani selectors will begin their homework for the series against Bangladesh which is expected to begin in the first week of April with a meeting in Lahore on March 21.

Salahuddin and fellow selection committee members Shafqat Rana and Saleem Jaffer will meet with the members of the national junior selection committee.

They will take an input from the junior selectors on the best-available young players of the country. Pakistan recently featured in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia where they failed in retaining the title and lost in the semifinals to South Africa.

After that meeting, the national selection committee members will discuss the formation of Pakistan’s ODI squad and will also take inputs from Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson and captain Shoaib Malik, before naming the squad by the end of this month.

Against Zimbabwe, youngsters like opener Nasir Jamshed performed impressively and there are chances that most of them will be retained for the assignment against Bangladesh.

Source:Cricket News

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